I happened upon this quote the other day, and it got me thinking this profoundness extends even to writing.
In the writing group, we’re going through three levels of feedback and rewrites for our short stories. We intend to publish an anthology at the end of this year, so we’re deep in the process of edit, rewrites, edit, rewrites (maybe some whining and a bit of crying) and more editing.
Its temping when getting feedback on a story quirk to simply delete it altogether. It would be easy. Just highlight, delete, and that little quirk is gone, right? However, writers need to consider adjusting and fixing parts of the story before taking that drastic step of ‘story surgery’. Ask yourself- How can I fix this?
Just as your characters are faced with a number of conflicts that need resolved, you also must rise above whatever weaknesses to face your adversary and find the solution. Instead of avoiding the problem, you’re facing a challenge and valuable learning experiences.
I find my biggest obstacle isn’t the crafting of a story, but the eerie psychic ability my family illustrates each time I open a page where I intend to write. Just at that moment, I mean exactly at that moment, I’m suddenly faced with questions, comments, or nagging from my son, husband, and lo- even my pets.
Even now, my cat purrs loudly as its time to be fed. I hear the dog coming up the stairs to nudge me with an icy cold nose and pathetic look for food. Do I digress form writing? No, I give my son ‘the look’, shut the office door, and ignore the loud purring until this is finished. They can wait.
Face your problems first, find a way to fix them, and only after making the attempt to make things right should you consider gutting parts of the story.
What are your thoughts?